DR. JEREMY LIEB AND AL PIAZZA - HOW TO SPARE MORE CANCER PATIENTS FROM UNNECESSARY TREATMENTS?
ADVANCED GENETIC TEST PROMPTS CHANGE IN PROSTATE CANCER TREATMENT
Every 20 minutes another man will die from prostate cancer. For these patients with aggressive disease, surgery and/or radiation treatment is appropriate and may be life-saving. At the same time 40-50% of patients have a lower-risk prostate cancer and many are eligible for active surveillance. These patients may opt to avoid or delay surgery and radiation and the side effects associated with these treatments such as urinary incontinence and sexual impotence.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 9 out of 10 prostate cancer patients who are candidates for active surveillance will instead receive more aggressive, radical treatment. The question all patients need answered is: What is my risk of dying from prostate cancer? The current trend in medicine is to reduce the rate of overtreatment for patients with low-risk prostate cancer by shifting more patients to active surveillance.
A recently published clinical utility study, PROCEDE 500, showed that:
- Physicians changed their treatment plans for 65 percent of men with prostate cancer after receiving the Prolaris genetic test report.
- Approximately 25 percent of patients had an increase in treatment based on a high test score, which indicates aggressive disease.
- Approximately 40 percent of patients had a reduction in treatment based on a low test score, which indicates non-aggressive disease.
Jeremy Lieb, M.D., is a physician and board-certified urologist from California who is a member of a leading community-based urology practice. He is an expert on prostate cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatment, including the uses and benefits of genetic testing for clinical decision making.
Al Piazza, 73, a retired phone company manager from California, lives with prostate cancer. He decided against prostate surgery and opted for active surveillance based on Dr. Lieb’s advice and results from the Prolaris test that showed he has a less-aggressive form of the cancer. Al can speak to the many decisions a prostate cancer patient faces and how genetic testing gave him the peace of mind he needed.
Prolaris is a novel 46-gene RNA-expression test that directly measures tumor cell growth characteristics for stratifying the risk of disease progression in prostate cancer patients. Prolaris provides a quantitative measure of the RNA expression levels of genes involved in the progression of tumor growth.